I’ve been away for three days, mostly attending the Presbytery of the East, which met at Christ the King EPC in Westfield, Massachusetts. For me, the most important thing to come out of the meeting was that my church plant, Redeemer, has been re-christened. After several months of discernment, conversation and prayer, we are now the Church of the Occoquan Valley, which will also be known as “The Cove.” We have three primary reasons for this:

1) Aesthetic: “Church of the Occoquan Valley” has a wonderful sound to it. The valley in question, incidentally, straddles Fairfax and Prince William counties, between which the Occoquan River runs as it empties into the Potomac. Given that we are at work in both counties, in Lorton and Woodbridge, it makes sense to acknowledge both as part of our mission field.

2) The acronym: “The Cove” is meant to be suggestive of our ministry. We have been called to be a safe haven for those who are buffeted by the storms of life, a channel through which the peace of God may flow into the lives of those who are sinking under the weight of their sin and troubles.

3) Community-building: While “Occoquan Valley” is not a phrase that comes to mind among residents of this area, we are seeking to create a community that transcends the geographical (and racial, ethnic, linguistic, social, and cultural) barriers that separate people.  The Occoquan River is a symbol of that division, and with God’s grace that division can be overcome.

The worship bulletin today already reflected the change, and this week we will be activating a new Web site (www.covepc.org) that will hopefully be an improved way to showcase what God is doing here in northern Virgina. Take a look, and let me know what you think. And by all means, if you are in the area, join us on Sunday.